Axelsen tops off Zhao to defend Indonesia Open champion title

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Badminton world number one Viktor Axelsen triumphed in straight sets over underdog Zhao Jun Peng of China on Sunday, securing the Indonesian Open championship for the second year in a row.

The Danish ace took the first set at Jakarta’s Istora Senayan Stadium thanks to an excellent defense against heavy pressure from his southpaw opponent.

Zhao’s aggressive approach eventually cost him, leading to several errors in the second and final set as Axelsen took home the title by scores of 21-9 and 21-10.

The Olympic champion came into the match having won the Indonesian Masters 2022 last week.

The back-to-back tournaments were highly anticipated by badminton fans after nearly three years without a live audience in the Indonesian capital due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Today, I just tried to go in and use my experience. I tried to control the drifts as best I could. I tried to play at a high tempo and it really paid off,” he told reporters after the match.

Meanwhile, the women’s singles finals ended with second-seeded Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan securing victory over unseeded Wang Zhi Yi of China 21-23, 21-6, 21-15.

“Wang played with very good ball control. I put the burden on myself because of my own mistakes,” Tai said through an interpreter after the match.

But after losing the first set, Tai quickly recovered in the second and dominated the rest of the way.

“I am very happy that a lot of people cheered me on, as it became my motivation during today’s match,” she said.

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